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Monthly Archive for January, 2012

Baby Girl

I love the little girl Eleanor is becoming but sometimes I really miss this little baby bug, too.






Sweet Treats

My week has been filled with work, boxes, delicious treats and lattes. Who can say no to a Magnolia cupcake for breakfast? Or how about a Glorious Morning muffin warm out of the oven from Filter? It’s true that the stress of moving does not bode well for my diet, but dammit I deserve something sweet. Sometimes even twice a week! Happy Friday!



The Next Big Move


We have some exciting news that we have impatiently been keeping mum over here! Our family is making a big move to North Carolina! And, if that wasn’t enough we will be there in two weeks time! Our house is currently stacked with boxes, and I am not going to lie we are a wee bit stressed about how it’s all going to work. But more than anything we are excited for this new chapter that awaits us.

I am transferring with my company to Durham. In order to get us there Nathan and I decided we might have to make some sacrifices. So while I have taken a step down, my hope is that in the end it will all work out for the best both for my career and my family’s happiness. The other bit of fantastic news is that Nathan’s family including his sister and parents all moved back to North Carolina a few weeks ago. We have dreams of family cookouts, weekends at the beach, camping and hiking in the mountains together, and of course cousins for Eleanor to play with! My home state of Tennessee isn’t that far either so hopefully I will be able to make it back more often to visit, and after a few months my mom is even considering a move to North Carolina! Yay!

We have also found a cute three bedroom house with a fireplace and big back yard for Tucker to run freely chasing squirrels all day. There is a nice little park close by, lots of swimming pools to teach Eleanor how to swim this summer, and great little shops, farmer’s markets and restaurants for Nathan and I to explore.

We will miss Chicago dearly. I’ve learned so much in time here. I grew up here. I fell in love here. I had my first baby here. This really was “the future” as a dear friend and I once called it. I’ve seen so many people come and go through the revolving door of this city off to explore a new adventure. Our turn has come.

There are very distinct moments in my life when all the little puzzle pieces lined up just so perfectly to allow for me to make the next big jump – choosing to go to an out-of-state college where I knew no one, making the big move to the Chicago all by myself, and meeting Nathan and falling in love in just 3 days. And, this is another one of them. While I am nervous about what is on the horizon I know in my heart of heart that it is bright and promising.


Snowy days

It snowed all day today! It’s been snowing a lot around here but today was the first day I had time to go play with Eleanor! It was such a light fluffy snow, too. My favorite! We didn’t stay out for too long but she liked it until she fell backwards into it!








Eleanor Grows, 9 months


Our little monkey is 9 months old! She is climbing around, swinging from daddy and cruising like a monkey, too! This past month Eleanor has perfected her crawl to the point that her left leg is always slightly bruised. She is so fast now. We got her a standing walker instead of the sitting ones and she has taken a few steps with it on her own! It’s the cutest thing to watch because she is still so tiny.

At her check-up she weighed 17 lbs and 12 ounces and was 27 inches long! She is between 25 and 50th percentile on all those charts, and has been since she was born. Almost all of her pants are too short for her (high water alert), but she has another week or so in 9 month clothing before we move on.



She loves food more than ever. Her favorite meals are breakfast and dinner. For breakfast she typically has barley cereal, banana, and cheerios. Her mid-morning snack is an apple. And then lunch is always a toss-up. Sometimes she just isn’t hungry. She has whatever we have for dinner. Recently she is loving black bean soup and veggie tacos (we just give her pieces of the sauteed vegetables and she has at it). She will forever and ever love apple sauce with cinnamon, and her other go-to snacks are Cutie oranges, pear, pickles, MumMums, sour dough bread, and cottage cheese. We still have not introduced meat to her, and I don’t plan on doing it any time soon. Her biggest love is water! This girl loves it! She drinks out of big people cups mostly, but recently we got her to take a sippy cup. She is starting to get the hang of how it works.

Eleanor is talking up a storm! Her curiosity is out of control and I think that’s what really encourages her babble. It’s so sweet to watch her whisper to her stuffed animals and toys. She says mamamama which I think is basically meant for whatever she wants. It could be me, daddy, her doll, more cheerios. Sometimes when I ask her to give me a high five, she goes, “figh!” and puts her hand up. It melts my heart to hear her repeating my sounds.


This past month she went through a big bout of separation anxiety. Man, was it rough! She has always been such an independent, easy going baby so to have her suddenly be so needy was hard on all of us. It was a lesson in patience. Slowly but surely she has started to come back out of her shell though. Just past Sunday Nathan’s uncle was in town and after a half hour Eleanor was crawling up to him, grabbing his ring, giving him toys. Eleanor also got a nice long visit from her Uncle Drew for Christmas! They had a lot of fun together even if she was occasionally confused by the “other bearded man” in the house.

She truly is a breath of fresh air.




Sunday morning



I am a lucky lady.

Everything is okay.

Eleanor’s results came back fine. Relieved.
I’ve been meaning to write so much. I also have her 9 month update to put up but honestly this first week of January has felt like a year. But still there is little time for anything but family and keeping the house together. I’m sure something will let up soon.


Nick came to visit!

Toughening Up

Tough skin. When it comes to Eleanor I don’t have it. When she hurts herself I get physically angry. Since she has become mobile I have had to try so hard to maintain control of my emotions. Well, really my reactions. Love her to death but my mom used to turn an ant hill into a mole hill with us as kids. A skinned knee meant gain green or a simple walk meant we would trip and fall. And I am afraid that I worry incessantly because of that.

Today was Eleanor’s 9 month checkup. Besides all the normal wonderful accolades that she is right on track she had to have a lead screening test. It’s a requirement if you live in the state of Illinois because of the high traces of lead in many homes. We live in an old home – 1890 to be exact. So while I hadn’t thought of it before when I heard she was getting screened today my head started spinning. One thumb prick. No tears. We wait. It’s hot and Eleanor is tired. Her levels are elevated the nurse says so thumb prick number two occurs. We wait. It gets hotter. The doctor returns. There are elevetated levels of lead present in her blood. So now she has to have her blood drawn intravenously. And, now we wait again. I’m hoping it’s a mistake, but knowing the house we live in and all of recent things we discovered while recently attempting to buy it (it obviously did not work out) I’m sure it isn’t a mistake. Good news is Lead poisoning is treatable.

But my god does my heart hurt waiting.
I’m hoping with each bruise, sad day at school, bad grade, skinned knee, and scar my skin will get tougher for her. I want to be strong for her.



Meal planning, iPad and WW

Today I used my iPad while grocery shopping. As I was getting ready to leave the house I was feeling super apprehensive. I actually said, “I don’t want to look like a dimwit” I mean because basically who needs a computer to go grocery shopping? And how was I supposed to carry it around and fill my cart at the same time?

The truth is that it was actually pretty useful! And, as far as I could tell no one noticed that I was carrying it around. Or at least if they did they were calling me name on the inside.

Nathan set up a couple different aps to help us with meal planning – Pepper Plate, Epicurious, All Recipes, and Weight Watchers. Each week to two weeks we toss so much produce that I don’t end up using in time. We shop at a local produce shop that sells discounted ie. ripe produce from Whole Foods. It’s a steal but you have to have a plan if you buy two giant bags of red peppers because they were 49 cents each.

So far I have become most familiar with the Weight Watchers ap since I am starting up again to help lose the last 10 pounds of baby weight. It’s pretty simple to use, and it will add the ingredients I may need to purchase for an upcoming meal. Plus it connects to my WW tracker which is even better. Im stuck making a lot of the same recipes because it’s routine. Or a lot of nights lately I just don’t cook at all because I’m so tired and I don’t want to think about what to put together. Weekly meal planning should help me with that, and Nathan has said he will support it by planning with me and even cooking a meal or two. Tonight I made whole wheat bowties with wild mushrooms and spinach and mixed greens on the side. It didn’t take long and we all ate. Even Eleanor tried some bowties and mushrooms.

This is what we are having this week:

Monday – Italian vegetable soup
Tuesday – Sesame noodles with chicken
Wednesday – Garden salad and any left overs
Thursday – Spicy black bean soup
Friday – Vegan spinach lasagna and mixed greens
Saturday – Turkey chilli

I love soups during the winter and they are so easy to make. I’m sure I will be making lots of soups in the next coming months. Eleanor loves soup, too. I also plan to take a serving of whatever I made for dinner plus mixed greens for lunch each day. I usually always have a salad for lunch and after buying a giant bag of arugula for 2 bucks I am looking forward to my salads.

So even if I did feel a little apprehensive in the beginning shopping with a computer I think overall it’s leaving me more confident. And will definitely help on having to run out to the store to grab something last minute to make a meal.